While The Prince I Became, the newly-released sophomore album by Nigerian singer, Ric Hassani represents the next step in his journey, the story of his life was being written years before the album saw the light of day. Some of those details that came from years ago range from personal tidbits to artistic evolutions, but they all play a part in understanding the prince Ric has become.
In conversation with Victor Okpala, a modern culture curator and communications expert, on Elevated Conversations with Ric Hassani, Ric talks about his music, growing up, love, and spirituality. Guess what? There are a number of interesting reveals from the chat for you.
1. Ric Hassani used to be a rapper and went by the name, Rico Slim
When he was cutting his teeth in the music industry as far back as around 2010/2011, Ric was a rapper and used to work extensively at Samklef’s studio alongside E.M.E duo, Skales and Wizkid. At the time, he was called Rico Slim. He refers to those times as the foundation of what he stands on as an artist today.
2. Ric Hassani and Frank Edwards First Collaborated in 2012
Nigerian international gospel artiste, Frank Edwards made vocal contributions on the 15th track of Ric Hassani’s newly-released ‘The Prince I Became’ album but the relationship between the two spans nearly a decade. In this interview, Ric Hassani revealed that he was featured by Frank Edwards as rapper (then Rico Slim) on an award-winning bop dubbed ‘Superstar’.
3. The words of Oprah Winfrey Helped Ric Transition Back to Singing and Develop His Gentleman Brand
After transitioning from being a singer, Ric rebranded as a suave gentleman with a series of singles and also character-wise and aesthetically, but he wasn’t sure it would work. “I wasn’t sure people were going to accept me,” the singer admits.
There is something Oprah Winfrey said that changed my life. The greatest of people are those that align their personality with their purpose. My personality is; I’m cool and gentle, that’s how I was raised and my purpose is to inspire people with my actual talent which is singing
4. Ric Hassani has never truly “dated” anyone
Despite being known for his love-tinged songs and standing as one of the most eligible bachelors on the Nigerian music scene, Ric has never dated anybody in the strictest sense of the word. He has resolved to continue to focus on his purpose while asking God to help him find the right partner. “It working out, is no longer under my control,” Ric says. “I’ve given that up to God.”
5. Between African Gentleman and The Prince I Became, I’ve become a new person
For Ric, The Prince I Became is a sum total of all the experiences he had undergone since African Gentleman, he wanted to create a body of work that paid homage to that journey to becoming royalty. While his debut album was about crafting love songs and surviving but its follow-up concentrates on giving people a glimpse into the inner workings of Ric’s mind.
6. Rapping was not his Gift, He Learned How to
Speaking of his days as a rapper, Ric stated that it was just a phase of his career where he had to listen to what people around him were doing and adapt to it, explaining that he was always a singer first before he tried his hands at rapping which made transitioning back to singing easier.